Qatar reopens Museum of Islamic Art ahead of World Cup
FILE -Branding is displayed near the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center where soccer World Cup draw was held. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)

DOHA, Qatar (AFP) - Qatar unveiled Tuesday its landmark Museum of Islamic Art after an 18-month renovation ahead of the World Cup in a bid to be a "showcase" for the Arab world.

"We are the biggest Museum of Islamic Art in this region... and we are in the middle of the Arab world," said museum director Julia Gonnella. "Where better can you learn about Islamic culture and art and history than here?"

The museum showcases 14 centuries of Islamic art and artifacts from around the world.

Constructed on a purpose-built island on Doha's waterfront promenade, the building is the work of the late US architect I M Pei, one of the best-known architects of the 20th century.

The five-storey building has redesigned its collections, with some two-thirds of the thousand exhibits new to the museum.

"Before it was only about the art, now it's about culture," Gonnella said. "We really want to tell the stories behind the masterpieces."

Qatar has spent billions of dollars on new stadiums for the first football World Cup in an Arab country, which kicks off on November 20.

As the sporting festival approaches, Doha is leading an cultural push, including erecting dozens of works of public art, and opened the Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum earlier this year.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login

HOUSE RULES

  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy